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Phase 8: January 2001

Our rose plantations were extended despite many problems due to a virus epidemic which did not stop at our fence. The initial investments were very costly. We had to construct terraces, replace the soil, install an irrigation system and graft every single plant. Meanwhile, our daily yield soared to 150-200 roses, so we had to press on with marketing!
Of particular importance: twice a week "Little Smile Roses" are sent to the Hotel Lanka Princess on the southwest coast, whose manager, Mr. Kuckenburg, and his wife visited the children's village.
An important day in January: a first bleeding celebration at Little Smile. Jeewanee, our oldest at 14 yrs., had her first period which we honoured according to the strict traditions of Sri Lanka. After Jeewanee had been confined to the house for several days, forbidden to set eyes on man or boy, she was ritually cleansed in the early hours of the morning of 11 January to prepare her for a new stage in life.
From this day on, she is recognised as a young woman.
At the end of the month Stephan Barthel from Berlin, after living with us for five months, succeeded in putting the finishing touches to our computer room. It was then possible for lessons to begin.